So, BOT, does it make sense to for a more experienced follower to ask a less experienced leader to form a practice partnership? I am not talking about some super-advanced ppl - honestly, it's not like 3rd lady in the world asking 96th guy, it is more like a lady doing open silver and pre-gold in pro-am asking a guy who only knows bronze. Or improving solo practice (getting new drills, technique exercise and similar) is a more efficient approach?
I think you need to look at your goal before making that decision. Once you know your ultimate goal then you will be better able to make that decision. I don’t know if your ultimate goal is to continue to dance in pro-am or if your goal is to dance amateur. Only you really know that and therefore only you can make that decision.
If you are looking for a partnership then it might be what will help you get to that goal. Both of you will have to be willing to work hard and doing it as a partnership. You will have to be very open minded and might want to use a different approach if you want to be at the same level fast.
Let me show you a little different picture.
Most good dancers use many of the steps in bronze and silver in their routines (even when they are world finalists). They are just danced in a different combination and with a higher quality. It might be good for you to get what is called “open looking syllabus routines”. Many couples in Europe dance this kind of routines so that they look like they are dancing open but they are in fact dancing syllabus routines.
This is just my 2 cents worth but I hope it helps you make that important decision.